Customer Reviews


146 Reviews
5 star:
 (71)
4 star:
 (28)
3 star:
 (27)
2 star:
 (11)
1 star:
 (9)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The boys from the Dwarf are back!
I'll freely admit that the original series got a bit stagnant from series 5 through 7, however I really felt that 8 shaped up to be a return to form. Now, ten years later, we finally get more. To be honest, it is best watched in one sitting as the first episode really introduces (or re-introduces) the characters we know and love and watching them individually does break...
Published on April 28, 2009 by J. P. Coates

versus
49 of 61 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's good to have the guys back, but. . .
After waiting ten years for a Red Dwarf reunion, hearing rumours of another series or even a big-screen movie, fans' anticipation level for "Back to Earth" was VERY high. I'm sure I'm not the only fan who, after viewing this 3-part episode, was left wondering if the wait was worth it.

(SPOILERS AHEAD)

While it is nice to have most of the cast back...
Published on April 18, 2009 by A. Gammill


‹ Previous | 1 215 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The boys from the Dwarf are back!, April 28, 2009
This review is from: Red Dwarf: Back to Earth (DVD)
I'll freely admit that the original series got a bit stagnant from series 5 through 7, however I really felt that 8 shaped up to be a return to form. Now, ten years later, we finally get more. To be honest, it is best watched in one sitting as the first episode really introduces (or re-introduces) the characters we know and love and watching them individually does break up the flow a bit. The story (and the funny) really picks up in the second ep and continues through the third. In all, Back to Earth brings back much of what made the original series great and sets the stage for a new series nicely. It left me wanting more without leaving me hanging.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back In Red, June 23, 2009
By 
This review is from: Red Dwarf: Back to Earth (DVD)
The DVD contains...

(Disc 1)

* Features both a Director's Cut version of Back to Earth and the original televised version: In other words, a play all as it's meant to be seen, or in the 3 parts it was shown on TV.
* Cast Commentary by Chris Barry (Rimmer), Danny John Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten) & of coarse Craig Charles(Dave Lister)
* Director Commentary with Doug Naylor.

(Disc 2)

* All-New Exclusive Documentary:
* The Making of Back to Earth part 1 & 2
* Deleted Scenes
* Smeg Ups
* Featurettes
* Trailers & TV Spots
* Web Videos
* Photo Gallery
* Easter Egg of Danny getting a free drink.

SPOILER (Dont read on if you don't want to know how to access the egg)
when disc 2 starts, you will see a skutter roll by on the screen and flip you off, hit the enter button on your remote while it does this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


49 of 61 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's good to have the guys back, but. . ., April 18, 2009
By 
A. Gammill (Tupelo, MS United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Red Dwarf: Back to Earth (DVD)
After waiting ten years for a Red Dwarf reunion, hearing rumours of another series or even a big-screen movie, fans' anticipation level for "Back to Earth" was VERY high. I'm sure I'm not the only fan who, after viewing this 3-part episode, was left wondering if the wait was worth it.

(SPOILERS AHEAD)

While it is nice to have most of the cast back (including a too-late and too-brief turn by Chloe Annett), the magic that made Red Dwarf such fun is laregly missing. It starts off promisingly enough, with Lister making Rimmer the butt of another in a series of practical jokes. But when the main plot kicks in, a sinking feeling of deja vu sets in. "Back to Earth" appropriates the plot from an earlier, better episode, "Back to Reality." I won't give it all away, but if you've seen the earlier episode, the "twist" ending of this one won't come as a shock at all.

The other, only slightly lesser problem is that very little attempt is made to maintain the series' continuity. It's been ten years (nine, according to an on-screen message) since the crew was left hanging at the end of "Only the Good. . .". When "Back to Earth" begins, Rimmer is inexplicably a hologram again, Kochanski has been written out of the show, and the ship is back in deep space with the 4 lead players in place like nothing has changed.

So, you're thinking, this guy's given it 3 stars...is there ANYTHING good about it? Well, yes. For starters, everyone looks like they've barely aged, which is just short of miraculous considering the first episode of Red Dwarf aired 21 years ago. And even though the script gives them little of note to work with, the actors slip back into their roles with ease. Production values are generally high, although a CGI skutter in place of the old animatronic one will make long-time fans cringe.

As a long-time fan, I'd certainly be thrilled if this led to a revival of the series. I just hope the writers can come up with some fresh and FUNNY ideas, or they should let Red Dwarf rest in peace.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not 'Dwarf' at its best -- but still the best show out there, July 26, 2009
By 
S. S. Hogben (Seattle, Washington) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Red Dwarf: Back to Earth (DVD)
The real triumph of "Red Dwarf: Back To Earth": They're BACK !!!!

Despite the 10-year hiatus since Series 8, Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat), and Robert Llewellyn (Kryten) have lost none of their old comic chemistry. Congrats to all for returning in such fine comedic - and physical - form.

Individually and collectively the primary cast have grown even more skilled since we saw them last ... which they definitely needed here, because the BTE script gave them *little* to work with. (Most complaints at the Amazon.co.uk website regarding BTE as broadcast, for instance, basically boil down to story/script problems.)

I shall spare you my own protracted diatribe about the weak BTE script. Suffice it to say, my biggest frustration is how easily this script could have been better, both stronger and funnier. The audience kept being offered seeds of potential genius ... but such `seeds' were never paid off by this script. Just one example from many: new character Katerina Bartikovsky - brilliantly brought to life by the refreshing and very talented Sophie Winkleman - was so delicious in all ways she presented a fantastic opportunity for wild, fun, and original new things, but she was given no character arc and sadly little to do.

The production values were refreshingly excellent despite next-to-no budget, kudos to D.P. Andy Martin and a worldwide VFX team led by Mike Seymour. It is a pity, however, that as much attention was not paid to the story's substance, as its visual style.

So why, you may ask, am I still giving BTE a rating of 5 stars?

Reason #1 - Even with BTE's weak script, "Red Dwarf" is still funnier than anything else out there.

There are some bits in BTE which are absolutely "classic `Dwarf' ". Rimmer's unique solution to Katerina Bartikovsky, for instance, was so laugh-out-loud funny that our group of 40 Dwarf-ers new and old threatened to shake apart the building. Or Cat, in the diving bell scene while all hell is breaking loose behind him. Great, great stuff! I, personally, laughed right out loud more than I had since ... well ... the last time I'd watched "Red Dwarf"!

Reason #2 - The Cast. This cast play off each other with such natural genius, just stand back and let `em rip!

The endlessly versatile Chris Barrie proves yet again that he's the funniest thing on two feet, deftly able to make something out of nothing (which he had to do a lot, in BTE). Craig Charles has improved dramatic range, over years past. Danny John-Jules impressed me with new layers of comic timing and subtlety. Robert Llewellyn remains `Mr Nice Guy' personified. Newcomer to the show Sophie Winkleman fit in so perfectly and brought so much to her role it was a real pleasure to watch her work and left the audience eager for more, and Jeremy Swift delighted with a small but `cherce' bit as a mad shop clerk.

Reason #3 - If all else fails, and BTE's story shortcomings still get you down, watch it with the DVD Cast Commentary.

Chris, Craig, Danny, and Robert know each other so well, and play off each other so perfectly, that they are frequently even more funny `unscripted' on the Commentary track than they are with dialogue written for the characters they play. (I freely confess that watching with the Cast Commentary track "on" is the ONLY way - once beyond "Tikka To Ride" and the great "Stoke Me A Clipper", which gets my vote for Best Episode Ever - that I can get through Series 7 without falling asleep.)

Reason #4 - This DVD's extras/bonus features are especially varied, of general and specific interest, and well-done.

As we have come to expect from "Red Dwarf" releases, thanks to - Andrew Ellard, is it? - who assembles these consistently superior DVDs. This DVD is surprisingly affordable and a great entertainment and educational value for its price. I have so enjoyed the PAL version I bought in June upon initial UK release that I have pre-ordered the NTSC (Canada/US) version, too. Here are some BTE extras I particularly recommend:

Cast Commentary (Disc One): Episodes One, Two, and Three, exactly as broadcast, with the cast's own amusing commentary on what they did and what we see

Director's Commentary (Disc One): "Director's Cut" omits intervening credits & titles, with a more technically-oriented commentary

"The Making of ..." Documentary: Part One is a short 24-minute version broadcast on Dave, of which a favourite highlight is Robert Llewellyn's description of how to cram four fully grown adult males into a Smart-For-Two car, otherwise known as Carbug - even the two big guys in the `back'! Part Two (also on Disc Two) is 48 minutes, more good stuff on a different variety of topics.

Deleted Scenes, available with/without Director's Commentary. (Includes a nice scene, sadly cut for time, between Rimmer and Katerina wherein we finally get an explanation "why huge meteorites lying around Cargo Bays J, L, and K" throughout all these years ;-)

Featurettes on various subjects. (The "Carbug" segment among the "Behind the Scenes Web Videos" is a definite Must See!)

Smeg Ups (Outtakes) - this contains my personal favourite moment on the whole DVD set. All 4 of the `Boys From The Dwarf' are supposed to be running straight toward camera; the shot is blown on the first stride out when Kryten's leg falls off, Robert limps off to the side. But pause at about 09:55, the look of sheer shared joy and laughter between Danny, Chris, and Craig - by all accounts three of the most differing personalities imaginable - it's a captured magic moment that reaffirms one's basic hope for humanity.

Now, perhaps more than ever, the world needs hope and laughter. We need MORE DWARF!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Red Dwarf, but it's painful, December 2, 2009
This review is from: Red Dwarf: Back to Earth (DVD)
As a huge fan of the entire series, which is still funny 21 years after it started and a decade after it finished, I admit that I had rather high expectations of this mini-series.

Unfortunately, those expectations weren't even close to being fulfilled. Things start off well enough; the usual hijinks from the Boys from the Dwarf. Continuity? We don't need that. Just bring on the funny. As a previous review mentioned, everyone looks exactly like they have for the entire series. No small feat considered the time span involved. After the first 10 minutes or so, when the joy at seeing the characters back on the screen fades, you begin to notice that something is horribly, terribly wrong. The jokes just aren't funny. Not only are they not funny, they're stupid. They're forced, because the writing is dreadful. The plot twists are cliched and previously used in the series. CGI is much, much worse than animatronic or models.

The actors are trying, but they just don't have anything to work with. You can tell they're almost embarrassed to be doing this. At the end of the mini-series,
you're relieved it's over. I actually had to go back and rewatch the entire 8 seasons afterwards to remind myself what a fantastic show "Red Dwarf" was. In fact, I had to make my wife watch them all too, to prove to her that the show was good. After watching only "Back to Earth", she thought I was insane for liking the show.

It's that bad.

So why 3 stars? Because I can't bear to give the crew of the Short Rouge One any less than that.

Any fan of the show should watch the mini-series. I just would really, really suggest you refrain for actually paying for it. And don't say you weren't warned.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars They try real hard, January 16, 2014
By 
Kerry Garrett (Winston-Salem, NC) - See all my reviews
Being American I don't know what type of hype the BBC gave this mini-series when it came out but it must have been a big deal. I like the whole Blade Runner thing but on the whole the 3 part episode isn't up to Red Dwarf standards. The "Making of" told how much work they did to try and make it look like a feature film but in the end it looked like a reunion show. They should have stuck with the simple sets and live audience. If you are watching the complete series as I am this is a must watch just to see the behind the scenes.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant even without prompting, September 12, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Red Dwarf: Back to Earth (DVD)
After reading the reviews, I was prepared to be disappointed by "Back To Earth," but I was certainly not. Even without the laugh track to carry viewers along, this reprise of Dwarf is brilliant. The plotline has more substance than we're accustomed to seeing and in true Dwarf fashion, pulls in bits from earlier seasons, presenting them with some twists. I strongly recommend watching the three episodes as a "movie" via the Director's cut.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Fun, September 23, 2012
By 
Stefan Arnold "stefan-anne" (Burlington, MA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Red Dwarf: Back to Earth (DVD)
I'll admit to being slightly disappointed after a first viewing. It seemed to borrow too much from the classic series and from Blade Runner. But on subsequent viewings, I really liked this return to the Red Dwarf universe. It holds together nicely as a story and, if seen more as an homage to Blade Runner and the Red Dwarf series, it's actually tightly written and fun with many references to enjoy. There are some great gags and quite touching moments, as well as the more traditional sci-fi themed zaniness. If you're a fan, this is definitely worth picking up.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comparison, February 24, 2012
This review is from: Red Dwarf: Back to Earth (DVD)
Had just received the boxed set of the complete Red Dwarf series I-VIII and watched the first series (for probably the eleventeenth time) when I decided to check out "Back to Earth" on Amazon Instant Video. The surprise? "Back to Earth" did not suffer at all by comparison to Series I. As for the continuity issues, I'd already been inoculated against any discombobulation by the glaring ones between the end of Series I and the beginning of Series II, not to mention those between the end of Series VI and the beginning of Series VII. (Yes, these were explained after a fashion, but in a deliberately quick and dirty way that made it quite clear that Grant/Naylor and Naylor were not about to be hamstrung by such things.) "Back to Earth" did seem like a scaled-down version of the feature film Naylor had hoped to make, and frankly I was glad to be able to see it play out in TV form. It was able to focus on the heart of the concept, the tragicomic situation of Lister, without it getting lost in a lot of cinematic froo-fraw. And Part Three gives one of Red Dwarf's main inspirations the thorough twitting it's long been asking for. If there's any downside, it's that Rimmer, Cat and Kryten are rather relegated to being Lister's spear carriers. And while an explanation is at hand for this--and proves to be the key to the whole business--the story does have Lister do something singularly shocking. (Maybe two somethings, depending on how you feel about what Lister also does to Rimmer--I mean, how much punishment does one incorrigibly smegheaded hard-light hologram deserve?)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some Red Dwarf is better than none..., January 17, 2011
This review is from: Red Dwarf: Back to Earth (DVD)
I miss the Red Dwarf laugh track. Having it gone was almost like having the theme song missing. I really would never have thought I'd say that about a show, but without it Red Dwarf just didn't really feel like Red Dwarf. I put off watching this show for a long while, having heard so many bad opinions about this from various people on the internet. People were so mixed about it that I kind of hesitated to have my warm fuzzy feelings of the series impacted by this, but I finally sat down & watched it.

No worries, for the most part this was pretty good. It didn't follow the last season for some reason, but it kept the whole dark & serious atmosphere that the show seemed to have developed towards the end. The absence of the laugh track really seemed to hammer this home since there was no laughter to lighten the mood.

Anyway, story-wise this miniseries was pretty interesting. Our boys escape to an alternate earth in an attempt to stay alive but discover that in this reality they're just characters on a popular TV show & that the plot has them dying by the show's end. Unhappy with this, they decide to take charge & find the writer so they can beg for more life. It's an interesting enough premise & everyone looks like they were having quite a bit of fun with it. I have to say, Chris Barrie looked to be having the most fun out of all of them & looked quite at home here.

It's just that this didn't entirely capture the feeling of the previous seasons. I didn't mind that it didn't pick up after the last episode, but something just seemed to be missing here. It's got everything I'd want but this just seemed to be missing the spirit of Red Dwarf.

I would still recommend people watching this & buying it to finish off their collections, but I have to admit that it's not going to be my favorite Red Dwarf watching.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 215 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Red Dwarf: Back to Earth
Red Dwarf: Back to Earth by Craig Charles (DVD - 2009)
$24.98 $18.86
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.